Shine Like Stars

Shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of life (Phil. 2:15)
We're not trying to be rock stars but just shed some light on a sad and lonely world. Stay tuned for how God works through weak and tired, sometimes really cranky vessels.

Friday, April 29, 2011

House Church and toots

Here's an article about house churches....

Here's post from Jared, who happens to be one of our house church peeps.   He addresses some of the issues that people have with house church.

The last 4 months of us experimenting with house church has been great for our family.  We don't have anything against the institutional church.  It has just been such a rich time for us to really dig into the Bible, lots of prayer and holding each other accountable for living out what we are reading.  We practiced being a family together and each time we meet we eat together, pray, read and all the while laugh a lot.  A few weeks ago Addie contributed to our meeting by tooting ridiculously loudly throughout our communion time-- as always the Gothros are keeping it real!  I love it because everyone in our house church rolls with it and that, my friends, is what adds to the family feeling.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I was scared

We've known since we met our sweet Ethiopian that she was an amazing communicator.  Here's a post I wrote just one week after having her in our arms.  At that point in time she would communicate (without words) about how she wanted us to hold her bottle while feeding her or how she wanted to be held while we read her a book.  Sixteen months later and a whole world of vocabulary she's able to communicate emotions.

We have a picture book that has Melia's referral pictures in it and a few pictures of our family all together.  I wish it was the book we sent her while she was in Ethiopia but I promptly lost that within months of bringing her home.  That's how I roll, I lose things a lot.  The good thing is that because of my forgetfulness I've learned to hold loosely to possessions.  Anyway, I found Addie picture book the other day and it's become one of the books I read with Melia before nap.

Tonight while Michael was putting her to bed they were looking through the photo album when they got to the picture that was just Caleb, Nathan, and Addie.
Melia asked "Was I borned?"
Michael replied "you were born.  You were in Ethiopia.  We were waiting to bring you home.  Do you remember when we brought you home?"
She nodded.
Michael asked "What was it like?"
She said "I was scared of Mommy and Daddy."
Michael asked "Are you scared of us now?"
Melia giggled and said "No, mommy and daddy always come back."

Here's some pictures of the first time we met her....

Yeah, it was really sad.  They aren't pictures that will be posted on the cover of any adoption magazine.  But she's right there was definitely fear here.  She grieved heartily.  She wasn't so sure about the Lord's choice in parents for her (I don't blame her, we're real white) but now 16 months later, there's no place she'd rather be than with us.  Michael and I weren't surprised at her response to us.  The amazing woman who runs Hannah's Hope, Almaz (for some reason this is the only picture I can find of her), warned us that Serawit was very attached to her special nannies and would have a hard time coming to us. 
It's incredible to me that in such a short time she's completely comfortable with us and knows that she's safe.  Her confidence in me "always coming back" makes me feel so content.  I praise the Lord that He used us to heal her broken heart while blessing us with the joy that comes from being with this magnetic little girl.  

I'm also completely shocked that she was able to verbalize her fear of us when we first met.  It makes my heart so sad that in her short life she has had to go through so much but I'm amazed at her resilience.  What an amazing child, thank you Lord that she's mine! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Mommy always comes back"

Aren't they so cute? I know I'm biased but really I just want to eat them up.

I was a little nervous about leaving the kids.  In the 16 months since Melia's been home we haven't left her for more than a few hours at a time.  She has only been put to bed by someone other than Michael or I 2 or 3 times. So I was worried she'd be sad and worried that we left her for good. 

After we retrieved them on Saturday, we were driving home and from the backseat we hear "Mommy always comes back.... and you (pointing to Michael)".  This made my heart melt (and I cracked up over Michael being "you").   She is secure in our love and trusts us to come back.  This makes me so happy. 

 Some Easter pictures.

Whoa 10 years!

Michael and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary last Thursday.  The week before we decided to take a trip to the beautiful town of Puerto Morelos, Mexico.  We had an awesome time.  The resort was quiet and beautiful.  Puerto Morelos is a cute little fishing town with lots of great restaurants.  We absolutely loved it!
Here's some pix of our trip... 
On the plane...
side note- we had 3 separate flights
each one I had a kid behind me who
kicked my seat the whole time :)

Pinguinos for Annie....

Our room

 Amazing chicken cilantro dish at
La Paucho es Primero 

Michael found a conch.  After a two days of battling
with it to come out he ended up throwing it back. 

Hiding from the sun.  We spent lots of time reading
on the beach. 

At the bus stop heading back to the airport. 

We feel so blessed to have been able to escape for 3 days and know that our littles were well taken care of.  Thanks to all our family who pitched in and loved on our kids while we were gone.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Caleb's Debut

Ever since we saw Pippi Longstocking a few months ago, Caleb has been asking to be in a play.  My parents signed him up for an acting class at the rec center for his birthday.  He really enjoyed it and even though he complained sometimes about going to practice it was really a great program.  So after 2 months of weekly practices they were ready for their performance--
Food Glorious Food


Waiting for the big show to start....

Lots of cute singing about food.

Caleb recited Shel Silverstein's "My Beard"